Wednesday, 30 June 2010

jun, 30th - note to self....

day 138:

a serious note to self!

limi will not always want to sleep, curled up on my chest.....savour this while i can.....

other notes to self this week:

* strangers do not find limi's high-pitched squealing, cute...just annoying and high-pitched
* when handing limi to friends with long hair....remember to include a hair tie
* just because you're doing it, doesn't mean it's not still grannified to lick a finger and wipe limi's face


not sure how this amazing company passed me by....still on my tea-party theme...they make the most fantastical biscuits. 

they're called Biscuiteers! their theme-d collections come in wonderfully old fashioned tins. (they'd be fantastic as a ribbon tin once the biscuits are finished.) i'm especially in love with the Paris tin....

well, and the London tin.....and the Handbags tin.....and the Wimbledon tin....

plus they will also do a bespoke tin....i think a tin of Mini Coopers would go down very well with my nephew.

Biscuiteers photos:

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

jun, 29th - happy baby....

day 138:

noticed today that i've been posting quite a few pics of a very serious looking limi, lately. strange...because she doesn't seem to take life too seriously....we get plenty of smiles, friends get smiles, strangers get smiles....there's also loads of chatting, nose wrinkling, one-eye-brow-raising, rasberry blowing and pouting! here's a smiley pic as proof....(ps. i was having a bit of a coco chanel moment! and my obsession with Hipstamatic continues!)

Monday, 28 June 2010

jun, 28th - hot, hot, hot....

day 137:

it's hot, hot, hot here at the moment!

limi had her first bottle of plain water today (although....i may learn from my sister and call plain water 'juice' instead, so that when other kids are having REAL juice she will also be having 'juice'....let's see how long we can fool her for!) 

she also munched her gums on an ice cube wrapped in a muslin cloth. great for cooling and her teething gums they say. she just looked startled but mightily please at how cold her cloth was! we're still trying hard not to gather too much limi-related stuff and gaudy gadgetry. but i may consider getting something like this mesh feeder if the hot weather lingers.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

jun, 27th - climbing the walls....

[we look a bit serious but actually there were plenty of smiles....]

day 136:

after a day of spring-cleaning yesterday, we needed to escape the limi was bathed and pyjama-ed (didn't you used to love going out in your pyjamas when you were'd fall asleep and wake up in your bed in the if by magic! i think that the idea may have over-lingered into my university years...except, i'd just wake up in the clothes from the night before.) 

anyway, we're lucky because limi is fine with falling asleep in her cot and then being transferred into her car-seat and back again! with a gorgeous, long, Summer eve and wanting to recreate the recent trip to Greece, we headed to the terrace at The Real Greek. They're a chain which is usually not our favourite but it's close to home and sitting on the terrace, you have a view of this stunning Green Wall. 

i'm a big fan of Green/Living walls. i guess they're the contemporary version of ivy-clad walls which i've always had a soft spot for. another great Living Wall in London is at the amazing Anthropologie store in Regent Street....i may need to go and show Limi that one too!....i mean, surely it's a bit like taking her to an indoor park on a rainy day........


Friday, 25 June 2010

jun, 25th - stepping back onto the rungs....

day 134: my perspective has changed! a friend commented that she could see 'why i was so in love with limi' and my immediate thought was....'oh fiddle (trying not to swear as much these days....but okay, i didn't say fiddle) you have turned into THAT obsessed parent'. no...can't be...i promised myself and all of you....

anyway...i'm still hoping that although my focus is definitely on Limi, i've still retained some semblance of myself and can manage to have a conversation with friends about topics other than Limi, Limi's sleeping habits, Limi's eating habits, Limi's latest tricks, Limi's missing tricks. In fact, Sally, a friend who has also just given birth' and i, caught ourselves discussing the merits of limited companies vs sole traders the other day...boy were we proud (who knows if what we were saying made any sense....but hey, we were giving adult conversation a go.)

anyway, today i made tentative steps back into that adult part of my brain....i had a meeting about going back to work. 

and the question of how long to wait before you go back....
i've decided that there'll never be a 'good time'....i guess it's a bit like there's never a 'good time' to have a baby...always some country that you haven't visited yet....some family/friend festival that you don't want to miss or some personal project that a pregnancy/baby will destroy....well as for work...i was pretty certain pre-limi that i would be keen to go back within 6 months but now, i can find a number of limi-related reasons of why the timing doesn't work.....i want to be around to wean her, i may miss the first crawl/ sit-up/ sound of a new word/ taste of butternut....quandaries that face everyone. so the only thing to do is make that leap!

although i can re-engage with the part of my brain that understands a term like 'process transformation' a big part of it now, is dedicated to things like remembering the words to 'rubber ducky' and hey...let's just hope that i don't get the two confused.

ps. the meeting went well...i managed to leave the house wearing a full set of clothes and in fact, loved that i could focus on a limi-free topic for awhile....but i'll admit it....i missed her. it's true. i may be a tiny bit obsessed after all.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

jun, 24th - swaddling....

day 133:

yay, they've arrived!....i've been struggling to balance swaddling and the British Summer (which arrived a tad late...but never-the-less with some force and steely determination). although the swaddle designs versions were fantastic for winter they're pretty dense for the Summer....especially when these old Victorian houses, are just not equipped to deal with heat! so...just received these gorgeous light-weight, muslin blankets. (they're by aden and anais. i bought mine from hamill baby). they're amazing quality, lovely and soft and will also be great to throw over the pram as a sun shield or to use as a cover. loving the mono-chrome colouring. (they actually come in packs of 4 but the stripey one's already in the cot...pic below!)

of course now that they've arrived....limi appears to be teetering on the brink of breaking free from the swaddle. she's been favouring the back-stroke frog sleeping position this week instead....well i guess they would also make great hammam style towels.
ps. i can't seem to get my head around patterned pyjamas....i know that there'll come a time when she'll want horses, fairies or even worse Hannah Montana splashed across them but for now, after a full day of colour and pattern...there's nothing better than a freshly bathed, sweet smelling Limi in simple white.  

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

jun, 23rd - stop the press...a word has been spoken...

[Today in the Park....gorgeous weather!]

day 132:

Limi definitely said MAMA today! to her it was just a sound that she tried out a couple of me it was the result of hours of training :) (I've tried to be fair and say dada to her as much as mama...but hey, i may have slipped a few more mamas in on occasion.) in amongst the general babble and bird's very cool to hear a word you recognise. 

it will be so exciting when she can communicate. we haven't decided yet whether we're going to give baby signing a go. in theory it seems a bit kooky for us but then in practise, it's no different to the way that most parents communicate with their babies, like teaching a baby to wave when you say bye bye or clap when you say, although i don't think that we will be too strict about it all, i think that we may give it a try with a handful of words like:

  • hungry - take your palm and circle it around your stomach
  • sleep - with an open hand, you touch your fingers to your thumb in front of your eyes
  • bed - cup the side of your face in your palm and tilt your head
  • book - palms together, open them like you are opening a book
  • cold - you make two fists and shake them at shoulder height
  • drink - put your thumb up to your mouth
  • eat - touch your fingers to your thumb and put the tips to your mouth
  • more - with your one palm facing towards your chest, tap your other palm to the top of the hand
this is a great site for looking up signs.

some words that i didn't find that i will just make up:

  • hot (weather) - open palm fanning my face (red cheeks and perspiration optional)
  • swear word - hand across mouth to stop it coming out aloud
  • gently (as in...pulling hair; wrestling with other babies; raking those fast growing finger nails down my arm) - stroke cheek with fingers
  • oops (as in 'oops, we forgot to buy more nappies'; 'oops, you just threw-up on my shirt'; 'oops, you just threw-up on my friend's silk shirt' - extended fingers held to mouth with wide eyes

we will probably need to print out some pics or A. and i will end up teaching her completely different signs and insisting that she's hungry when in fact she wants us to read a book!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

jun, 22nd - serious soccer fever....

day 131:

this is a brilliant summer to be at home with Limi.  watching Wimbledon tennis always makes you feel like you are sitting in a pot of Summer strawberries and cream, Cricket, like you are swimming in a tub of pimms and now with South Africa hosting the Soccer World Cup, like you are sitting in the middle of a hornets' nest (have you heard those vuvuzela's en masse). So....there is serious sporting mania in our house. (Having never watched much t.v. before, Limi thinks that the screen is a big patch of green grass!!) 

Since this is the biggest, international party that my home has ever hosted and I long to be there...I've been trying to recreate the festival in London (Limi just thinks that we've developed a strange shout-out-loud-at-odd-intervals habit...with additional leaping around the living room shouting Yippee!! She's loving it!)

I was keen for her to represent her (multiple) countries but sadly no-one seems to have had the idea of creating baby-gros completely out of country flag designs (now why didn't I think of that more than a few seconds before the world cup started). So, i have had to make do with these organic suits from Cafe Press. now that Bafana Bafana (S.A.) and potentially the Socceroos (Australia) are both out of the tournament....we will be supporting Ghana, the last African country still playing. so, Limi will be wearing her best, clashing African patterns from now on....

well done Bafana Bafana & the Socceroos...Ayoba!!

Monday, 21 June 2010

jun, 21st - because it's my birthday....

day 130:

Whoohoo, these gorgeous cupcakes were just delivered from my wonderful, (but sadly, very faraway) sister. Happy Birthday to ME! Now to rustle up 19 friends for tea!

from this amazing bakery who hand deliver in London:


The next time a friend gives birth....I'm sending them a box of these! Fab for when people pop around to meet the new baby. 


hiya, please make my day and cast a vote! ......and if the mood strikes, cast another each time you swing by. all it takes is a click on the below and then a click on the vote button!

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Sunday, 20 June 2010

jun, 20th - happy father's day....

day 131:

first, a happy Father's Day to my dad (Limi's Dali). this is him, aged 3.

and to A. on his very first Father's Day! (without breaking the no-soppiness-on-the-blog rule) make a fantastic dad! 

Limi gave A. a subscription to Monocle magazine and we also had a fantastic lunch with friends at a gorgeous summer pub.

Limi (with some help from me on the cutting, spelling, printing & sticking) also left A. a graffiti message to wake up to. 

( this pic probably breaks the no-soppiness-on-the-blog rule!)

she's definitely loving the weekends where she gets to see more of A....damn that not every day is Sunday!

Saturday, 19 June 2010

jun, 19th - chalk up those pennies....

day 130:

love love love this ping pong table by aruliden for Puma....i can just picture it on our 'stoep' (verandah) one day in some sunny clime....if we save a pound a day, then we can buy it before Limi can reach the table and i will still have a few years of practising before she descends into that scathing teenage period....

forget the school fund.....i've started my ping pong collection:

Friday, 18 June 2010

jun, 18th - test the formula....

day 129:

we started formula today. with work possibly looming in the future and freedom (well the odd morning)'s time for Limi's independence. although she was very interested in the bottle...she just wasn't convinced by its' contents and mostly just swirled the formula around her mouth and then let it dribble out with an expression of disdain. we're starting (well trying) formula on one morning feed and aiming to replace one feed a week...hopefully this will give her time to adjust and us time to get our heads around bottles, sterilisation, formula, boiled water, bibs and remembering to pack it all in the bag too! 

Thursday, 17 June 2010

jun, 17th - spoke too soon....

day 128:

so we were hoping for this at 7:30am:

instead, we got this:

so much for sleeping through...Limi has decided that for the rest of this week, the day should start at 4am. It seems like she is processing all her new 'words' during the night and then she can't contain them anymore and they all come spilling out at 4am...LOUDLY!! it's difficult to ignore (or slumber through) and of course you're complete toast when you look into the cot because you then get this:

loving all the new sounds and squeals...especially her 'earnest voice'. will try and get some footage of it next week....

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

jun, 16th - granny, a bad word....

[Limi with her head-sized Easter egg sent to her by her Lola]

day 127:

I was chatting to some friends the other day and they were saying that their mums' didn't want to be referred to as grannies (for both, it's the first grandchild so a big transition from mum to granny). I said: 'what do they want to be called?' They said: 'Debbie and Karen'. 

I completely respect that some women just don't feel ready to take the step towards the blue rinse (can't imagine Madonna ever being tugged on the leotard by small hands and a small mouth pleading: 'Granny, granny can you sing Like a Virgin just one more time.') But in my view, grandparents are special (you don't get many unless you're Liz Taylor's progeny, then you get multiple granddads) and so it seems a shame that you don't have a special name for them. When you chat to Greek friends, they call their grans Yaya, Italians generally refer to theirs as Nonna and Afrikaans speakers, Ouma. I love this connection with your heritage. 

Our grandparents were Granny and Grandpa Pete (mum's side) and Granny and Grandpa P (dad's side). It makes the retelling of stories about them all the more significant for'Remember Granny P's amazing cake decorating skills and letting us taste a delicate sugar flower...and Granny Pete's wonderful cuddles.' It really cements their importance in our life.

So when we had Limi, we asked what our parents would like to be called. My mum and stepdad went for Lola and Lolo, they're already called this by my nephews and nieces. My dad went for Mdala (Dali), an African word meaning 'he is old' and A.'s folks decided on Nan and Grandpa Bill. I love that Limi will have these special names for special people!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

jun, 15th - bring on the slothful teenage years....

day 126:

at 5:30am recently....with limi kicking and babbling away between us...A.glanced over and said: 'i look forward to those teenage years' when we struggle to get limi out of bed before 10am....'

well last night was the start of that! she's been tantalising us recently by sleeping from 7pm to 5/6am but we've still had very early mornings! last night she slept through the 3am-wake-up and only woke up at 7am (i think that it counts as her first non-jet-lag-related-sleep-through)......hopefully this is the start of regaining some much needed beauty sleep (i have got 18 weeks to catch up on)!

Monday, 14 June 2010

jun, 14th - tea-party...

day 125:

Alice in Wonderland has always been one of my favourite stories....i even managed to BE Alice in a ballet concert when i was 10. so it completely makes sense that i have always loved throwing tea parties and picnics. this passion started with my dolls and furry animals... i would prop everyone up on the tea/picnic blanket and set out my precious tea-set and we would chat about our day! my mini set has now been replaced with vintage English bone china that i have been collecting for a couple of years and my guests are now able to sit upright on their own....although lately Limi and i have been having the odd picnic and she's about as good at sitting up and making conversation as Blinky.

so, i can't wait for a time when Limi will start to host her own mad-hatter's tea-parties.....I spied these gorgeous food sculptures by British Cream Teas on All Things Original that would have the dolls fighting over the last one....

[Wimbledon favourite strawberries and cream.....yum!]

[British Bourbon chocolate biscuits]

Sunday, 13 June 2010

jun, 13th - grass between the toes.....

day 124:

another Sunday of cricket and bare toes on grass!

Saturday, 12 June 2010

jun, 12th - sing-a-long...

day 123:

we cajoled a lawyer friend of ours to baby-sit for us on tuesday night (legal wrangling by wrangling by night!) and skipped off to watch a Crowded House concert at one of our local halls - The Hammersmith Apollo. 

it was AMAZING, like a great big sing-a-long!! a highlight of the night was Harriet-from-the-audience asking whether she could hop onto stage and play the tambourine. she had to wait for a suitable tambourine number but eventually her wish was granted and up she hopped and displayed some pretty impressive tambourine skills. Go Harriet-from-the-audience!

Limi has had to endure some Crowded House home concerts ever since!

Friday, 11 June 2010

jun, 11th - the two of us...

day 122:

with all this time on our hands but no one to hold the camera....we resorted to a Hipstamatic self-held-photoshoot today....

Thursday, 10 June 2010

jun, 10th - Etsy UK....

day 121:

i have been hunting around for a UK version of Etsy. i think that it's such an amazing concept (can i say that A. and i discussed something similar 8 years know a 'wow, wouldn't it be cool if.....' chat over dinner.......but we never did a smidgen of a thing about it.....oh hum!!!) for anyone who hasn't discovered it yet, it's a popular website that allows individual (mainly US) craftsmen and women to create their own online, market-style stall through which to sell their wares. it is especially amazing for original, hand-crafted kids' stuff....the type of thing that people used to make when they had more time and less mass-produced options.

although there are UK based sellers on Etsy and some US 'stalls' will also post overseas, I was still keen to discover whether there was anything more local that offered a wide selection and quoted prices in pounds.

I did some google digging and found the following....rated in my order of preference:

1. DaWanda -

European flavour to the products - think offbeat colours and quirky combinations (seems to have loads of sellers from The Netherlands and Germany). A wide range of products and a category for children. Prices are quoted in Euros. Love this clock for the nursery that you could leave as a line drawing or colour in.

2. All Things Original -

Not a huge kids selection but the quality is fantastic. And there are gorgeous pieces in the Homeware category that could be used to decorate the nursery. Prices in pounds. Spied these gems: 'Crowning Glory' cushion by Karen Hilton Designs and a gorgeous Shima bug baby's blanket by Dearnley Designs.

3. Folksy -

The closest thing to a UK Etsy. Loads their words....'handmade cafty things'. Prices in pounds. Sweet ugly duckling dress by i wish i were a girl.

A couple of others that I found but didn't fancy:

4. Not Mass Produced
5. Coriandr
6. My E Hive

And finally, 4 old-time favourite sites that are not exactly online market-stall traders but still feature wonderful, homemade/reclaimed wares:

Best for - decorative bits and future heirlooms.

2. Cox & Cox -
Best for - dress-up outfits and decorative bits.

3. not on the high street -
Best for - small collections that have been through a selection process

Best for - wooden toys and simple basics
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